As of Tuesday, January 8, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
STONE MOUNTAIN — Authorities raided the home of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis while he was testifying before a grand jury investigating county watershed operations.
WSB-TV reports unmarked police cars were parked outside Ellis' house while he was in court Monday morning. The television station reports that a grand jury is looking into allegations involving county watershed employees who were accused of accepting bribes from companies in exchange for waste disposal permits.
The television station reports officers emerged from Ellis' house three hours after they entered it carrying boxes of documents and one home computer. The officers declined to say what they found or why they were removing it from the house.
Later, authorities asked for Ellis' American Express card records at the county finance department, and asked for his campaign finance disclosure records at the elections office.
In the county's purchasing department, investigators asked for contracts for companies represented by Kevin Ross, Ellis' close friend and campaign manager. The television station reports Ross at one point in time suggested Ellis cancel contracts belonging to competitors and Ellis said he was never influenced by the suggestion.
Ellis said he is unsure why authorities chose to raid his house while he was in in court and he is unsure of what they may have been looking for.
"I haven't done anything that I'm aware of — nor has my staff done anything that I'm aware of — that's inappropriate," Ellis said during a Monday afternoon news conference.
The county's Chief Operating Officer, Richard Stogner, told the television station the raid was likely related to water and sewer issues that occurred before Ellis took office as county CEO.